From this summary of Roose Bolton, it is mentioned that:

Lord Roose fought at the Battle of the Trident during Robert's Rebellion. When Ser Barristan Selmy, seriously wounded, was brought before Robert Baratheon, Roose counselled that they should kill him. Robert ignored Roose and spared Barristan's life, sending his own maester to tend to his wounds.

The actual mention of this event happens in Chapter 33 of AGOT. Anyway, why did Roose offer this advice?

  • 6
    Because Roose was a violent man and Selmy was an enemy. What seems so odd about that?
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 19:39
  • 2
    If Aerys was to demand Trial by Battle, and named Ser Barristan, it could prove disastrous...
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


Ser Barristan Selmy was a member of Aerys II's kingsguard, and one of the best fighters in the world. Considering he is sworn to defend Aerys, the man who Robert is waging a war against, Ser Barristan is a very dangerous man indeed. Even unarmed and in captive he is a dangerous man. This is evidenced by (A Storm of Swords Spoilers):

his ability to defeat the Titan's Bastard, a dangerous man, powerful fighter and commander of the Second Sons, with just a wooden staff. Roose considers it safer to kill him than to keep him captive.

Additionally Roose has no qualms with violence. He comes from a family that used flaying as a torture device. In A Storm of Swords/Season 5:

he betrayed and killed his Liege Lord/King Robb Stark at his uncle's wedding

And he supports his bastard son Ramsay Bolton who has an unhealthy obsession with violence and torture.

Clearly killing and violence come somewhat easy to him, so killing a dangerous servant of his enemy is an understanding course of action for him.

  • True but Selmy is also obsessed with loyalty and honour. Once he's sworn fealty to Robert and rejoined the Kingsguard you don't have to worry about him. Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 12:04
  • 3
    Yes but this was before the war was won. At this point Aerys was still alive and Selmy was loyal to him.
    – Moogle
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 12:16

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